Economics Teachers: Job Outlook & Requirements

If sharing your enthusiasm for economics in a classroom setting sounds appealing, a career as an economics teacher could be a good fit. Read on to learn more about how to enter this profession.

Career Definition for Economics Teachers

Economics teachers gather course materials, organize instruction, and create assessment tools such as tests or research assignments to meet the learning objectives outlined at the beginning of the course. Teachers deliver lectures or facilitate student discussion on a daily basis. Over the course of a term, teachers also provide students with feedback regarding their progress toward desired learning outcomes, which might be economic fundamentals or specialization within the field.

Education Bachelor's or graduate degree in economics
Job Duties Gather course materials, organize instruction, create assessment tools
Median Salary (2018) $101,480 (postsecondary economics teachers)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 15% (all postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The requirements for teaching economics in high school differ from those at the collegiate level. Teaching high school courses requires a Bachelor of Science in Economics and state teaching certification. A teaching certificate can be obtained by completing a college or university's teacher education program alongside the coursework for your major. This program may include courses in educational technologies, developmental and cognitive psychologies or a methods course for teaching economics. If you want to teach at a 2-year or 4-year college, a Master of Science in Economics is the minimum requirement, and most universities require a Ph.D. However, some career schools employ teachers with a B.S. and experience in related career fields.

Skills Required

Economics teachers need a thorough knowledge of their subject area. Good social and analytical skills are also required since they must effectively communicate information to students and respond to student inquiries and problems in a timely and appropriate way. Economics teachers must also work with the administration and other faculty to meet the curriculum requirements of their school.

Career and Economic Outlook

For high school teachers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects average job growth of 8% between 2016 and 2026; urban and rural areas are the most promising (as opposed to suburban). Jobs for postsecondary teachers in general are expected to grow faster than average, increasing by 15% from 2016-2026. This is largely due to increasing enrollment. As of May 2018, postsecondary economics teachers earn a median annual income of $101,480; secondary school teachers in general earn $60,320 per year.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Career and Technical Education Teacher

Usually having a bachelor's degree and work experience in their chosen fields, these educators teach various vocational and technical areas like culinary arts, healthcare, and auto repair to help students prepare for the job market. Slower-than-average job growth of 4% was forecasted by the BLS for the 2016-2026 decade, and a median annual salary of $60,250 was reported in 2018 for high school teachers.

Economist

Those interested in the field of economics may want to earn a master's degree to analyze data about the distribution and production of resources, research trends, and evaluate economic problems. Fast as average increase of 6% in available economist positions was forecasted by the BLS from 2016-2026. That same source also revealed their annual median wage as $104,340 in 2018.


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